September 28, 2013. That was, at the time, a very shitty day. About 3 weeks prior to that day, I had my first appointment with a bariatric surgeon. I wanted to have gastric sleeve surgery to help me finally lose weight and being 6’3″ and 432 pounds, I was an excellent candidate. I went through the initial meeting, paperwork yada yada yada. One question on the paperwork was Do you use nicotine? I answered yes. It asked do you smoke. I said no. I thought nothing about it again. My insurance approved me for the surgery in record time. I was ecstatic. Most insurance companies require the candidate to be on a medically supervised diet for 6-12 months before they will agree to pay for the surgery, mine did not. Again, I was on the fast track. The following days were busy with appointments to psychologist and stuff all required by the insurance. Fast forward to September 28, 2013.
I had got off of work at 07:30am after working all night. I was dog tired and ready for bed. I got home, jumped in the shower and hit the sack. About 10:30am my phone rang and it was the nurse at my surgeons office. “Mr. Punkin, I noticed on your paperwork that you use nicotine.” ” You can’t have any nic in your system and have to be clean for 10 days prior to your surgery”. Now, I’m a bear when I first wake up. My work schedule is crazy and until I have coffee I can be a complete asshole. Well this woman (who is the nicest human being on the planet) felt the fury of a sleep deprived nicotine addict. I lost it. I acted like a dickhead. I told her that I was tired of jumping through all these hoops and that they could shove that surgery right up their asses. I was done with it all. I slammed the phone down and packed a can of fresh Cope.
I had to be back into work at 3:30 that afternoon to work my scheduled evening shift so I got out of bed and put on some coffee because sleep at this point was futile. I managed to calm down and get my shit together. I called the nurse back and apologized again and again. I told her that I indeed wanted the surgery and that I’d quit long enough to have the surgery but I couldn’t promise beyond that. I called my wife at work and told her what was going on and that I was gonna attempt to give it up. She was so happy. She never nagged at me but she would occasionally drop a hint about me quitting. I was at a loss on what to do but I knew I wanted this surgery and I was gonna give it my all.
I made it 6 days before I found KTC. I read the main site and I liked what I saw. I joined up and started an intro thread. Immediately after making that post, I started getting PM’s from guys offering their numbers and help. I couldn’t believe it. All of these guys were walking the same road as me, some had just been walking it longer. One piece of advice was to read all you can, so I did. I read and read and read. The more I read the more that I knew that I could and would do it. I made my first roll call post and I was off and running. Some days were more rough than others but I kept pressing on. I added KTC to my phone and I was on here as much as possible. I guess you can say that I drank the quit Kool-aid. I volunteered to help do the spreadsheet which was tough with all the new additions to the group but I liked doing it. I reached out to new guys and offered my numbers to help in any way that I could. The way I looked at it, the more I did in my quit group, the stronger my quit became.
My quit has been pretty easy I think. Once the fog wore off, I got busy with anything I could involving my quit and my quit group and all of a sudden I was on cruise control. I would advise anybody struggling to get involved. Get involved and reach out to guys in your group. Find people that you click with and meet up in chat or just exchange numbers and text a daily howdy. Meet up in chat once in a while. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: You get out of KTC what you put into it. If you come here once a day, post roll and never show back up until the next day, I think you are doing yourself and your quit brothers and sisters a major disservice. Your support might keep someone from caving.
Around day 58, I had my surgery. It was one of the best moves I’ve ever made. It took some getting used too but I’m doing great. As of today (1-22-13), I have lost 80 lbs. I’m pumped. I’m losing weight and I’m getting healthy and thanks to KTC I have gained my life back. I’m no longer a slave to Nicotine. I know that Ill always be an addict but I no longer bow down to the bitch. I have broken the chains of bondage and Ill never return. Never again for any reason.